Lifting the lid on burial costs across the Northern Rivers
IT'S a well-known fact burials are expensive, but just how much does it cost locally?
The majority of cemeteries across the Northern Rivers are managed by councils, with the exception of a few small, private cemeteries, and each local government area has vastly different pricing for burials.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released an interim report in December 2019 which found there was a wide variation in prices for interment services, prices were not displayed consistently by cemeteries, and as a result it was difficult for people to compare.
But just how much do our local councils charge for burials?
Plot and burial fees were sourced from the 2019/2020 fees and charges documents of six local councils, and the totals provided include only new grave or plot reservation fees, interment fees and perpetual maintenance fees.
The below figures do not include any additional fees which the six councils might charge.
Burials in Byron Shire are the priciest of all local government areas at nearly $5000, while Kyogle is the cheapest at just over $2500.
In Byron Shire, burial for an adult in a single-depth plot will cost $4808, or $5570 for a deeper plot which allows two burials in the one spot.
A Lismore City Council spokesman confirmed the maximum cost for a basic adult single plot burial in an unreserved grave at Lismore Memorial Gardens is $4521*, which includes the interment or burial fee.
Burial in one of Ballina Shire's four cemeteries will cost about $4174, which includes plot reservation and interment fees. This figure is higher at Alstonville, however, at $5541.
Burial in a single adult plot in one of the lawn cemeteries at Casino, Evans Head or Coraki will cost $3655, while Tenterfield Shire Council offers a combined burial and perpetual maintenance fee for $2905 in the town's lawn cemetery or $2830 in one of the village cemeteries.
The cheapest of all councils, Kyogle charges $2548 for burial, perpetual maintenance and plot reservation fees at one of its six cemeteries.
*An earlier copy of the article incorrectly listed the price of Lismore burials at $6966.